Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Activist swims in Antarctic waters as part of ocean protection campaign

Fotografía del 13 de diciembre de 2016, cedida por el activista británico Lewis Pugh durante su travesía por aguas de la Antártida en La isla Media Luna, archipiélago de las Shetland del Sur en la Antártida. El nadador de resistencia y activista británico Lewis Pugh nadó en las aguas de la Antártida para pedir un plan de protección oceánica en el que se declaren dos nuevas áreas marinas protegidas en la zona, en el marco de su papel como Promotor de los Océanos de Naciones Unidas. Según un comunicado divulgado hoy, miércoles 21 de diciembre de 2016, por los responsables de la campaña “Antártica 2020”, el más ambicioso programa de protección de los mares del continente helado que se haya diseñad, Pugh cumplió la travesía en las cercanías de la isla Media Luna, en el mar de Bellingshausen, con una temperatura de cero grados en el agua. EFE

Santiago, Dec 21 (EFE).- A British endurance swimmer and activist has swum in Antarctic waters without a wet suit as part of a campaign to create three more Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Earth’s southernmost continent.

The Antarctica 2020 campaign said in a press release Wednesday that Lewis Pugh completed a 17-minute, 30-second swim last week in waters of the Bellingshausen Sea that were roughly 0 C (32 F).

“It felt like 17 days,” the 45-year-old Pugh was quoted as saying on National Geographic’s Web site. “Anyone who says they enjoy swimming in cold water has never really done it.”

Pugh, who developed hypothermia as a result of the swim, said the goal of the 2020 campaign was to secure three more MPAs in East Antarctica, the Weddell Sea and the Bellingshausen Sea within three years.

The extreme swimmer said now was the time to capitalize on the recent success of a campaign that resulted in representatives from 24 nations and the European Union agreeing in October to protect the Ross Sea in Antarctica from commercial fishing for 35 years.

Pugh, the United Nations Environment Program’s “Patron of the Oceans,” said the Ross Sea MPA and the new areas would cover a 7-million-sq.-kilometer (2.7-million-sq.-mile) expanse of ocean, roughly the same size as Australia.

He added that the Chilean government had proposed that a large MPA be created in Antarctica and now had a key role to play in convincing 23 other nations and the European Union to come on board.

The ocean activist said the creation of the MPAs would make those waters more resistant to climate change and allow them to help other seas recover from overfishing.